Thinking Anglicans

Taking Co-ordinate Jurisdiction Seriously

In their announcement yesterday, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York made a serious proposal to amend the legislation before the General Synod to allow Women in the Episcopate.

Not everybody is finding it possible to take their proposal seriously.

As already linked below, Pluralist has written Two for Tea.



1. Women are lovely aren’t they and the Revision Committee that has looked into them needs much gratitude. Thank you for your discoveries. However, as Archbishops we would like to overturn all that painstaking and already overturned work and impose our own point of view, and expect the Synod to understand that it is episcopally led. We do not want our ecumenical friend Benedict the 16th to get his way and attract out all the sanctimonious nutters from the Church in England in order to fulfil his ambitions when we need them to fulfil ours, such as passing the Anglican Covenant and introducing a stronger Catholic order of which they would approve. We want these people to think that there is good news for them in this Church…

And an American correspondent has sent this email:

Future News Stories:

June 21, 2011: Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu, former officials of the Church of England which they destroyed through inept leadership, have been hired by Major League Baseball. The two have immediately unveiled a plan for a “co-ordinate Perfect Game Pitcher” – Teams that could not accept that their pitcher did not pitch a perfect game would get a photogenic male model dressed in a team jersey to stand in at a photography session holding a ball with a big red “0” boldly emblazoned on it. Barry Bonds commented “Hey, that’s cheating!”

June 21, 2012: Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu, former officials of Major League Baseball, which they destroyed through inept leadership, have been hired by the US Republican National Committee. The two have immediately unveiled a plan for a “co-ordinate President” – States that could not accept Sarah Palin as the legitimate elected national leader would get a unemployed Hollywood actress to attend the opening of ball games and to give commencement speeches. Vermont immediately contracted Ellen DeGeneres leaving California to choose between Whoppi Goldberg and Lady Gaga.

June 21, 2013: Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu, former officials of the US Republican National Committee, which they destroyed through inept leadership, have been hired by Apple Computer. They immediately unveiled a plan for a “co-ordinate iPhone” – people who cannot accept that the latest model does not have all the features they personally want would get a small white cardboard box on which they can draw anything they want. The two pre-ordered Binney and Smith’s entire annual production of Crayolas to ship with the new devices.

June 21, 2014: Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu, former officials of Apple Computer, which they destroyed through inept leadership, have been hired to run the Winter Olympics. They immediately unveiled a plan for “co-ordinate Gold Medalists” – people who cannot accept that their country, no matter how tropical, cannot produce a champion curling team will be emailed a link to a You Tube video showing the medal presentation of the legit winners, out of focus and grainy as to prevent positive identification of players or uniforms (actually, a normal You Tube video), with their own national anthem dubbed in.

June 21 2015….


mitres in Gloucester

The Diocese of El Camino Real reports on the visit of its bishop, Mary Grey-Reeves to the Diocese of Gloucester in England.

Read From Bp. Mary and Bp. Michael, June 21, 2010

Dear Friends,

Some of you may have heard that on a recent visit to England, +Katharine Jefferts Schori was asked to verify her orders of ordination and asked not to wear her miter. As you know, I am here on a partnership visit in the Diocese of Gloucester. Attached is a greeting and explanation from Bishop Michael regarding our own correspondence with Lambeth Palace, hopefully clarifying a policy that has been in place but not enforced. The incident with +Katharine was of course exacerbated by +Rowan’s Pentecost letter and +Katharine’s response. I must say that I have not met anyone here that is happy with +Rowan’s letter and the actions that it announced; but are rather many are embarrassed and upset.

As you will see from an update that Celeste Ventura and Channing Smith will send shortly, we are having a wonderful time in Gloucester being treated very well and shown great hospitality. There are no major issues regarding the wearing of my miter or being a woman bishop, although of course there are those who do not approve of women’s ordination. It is a very live issue here and there are lots of feelings and emotions as the Church of England approaches another vote, hopefully towards women in the episcopate, in just a few weeks.

In the meanwhile, I send greetings from everyone participating on this triangular partnership and ask your continued prayers. I will send another update at the end of the week after my return late on Wednesday night.

With love and blessings,

A message from Michael Perham, Bishop of Gloucester

Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Diocese of El Camino Real

I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, rejoicing as always in our partnership, drawing together your diocese, the Diocese of Western Tanganyika and my own.

It has been a great joy to have Bishop Mary with us these last few days, sharing in our partnership meeting, speaking to our Diocesan Synod, preaching in the Cathedral and visiting parishes. It will be a particular joy when, on the last day of the partnership gathering, she presides at the Eucharist in the Lady Chapel of our Cathedral.

People here in the Diocese of Gloucester share my respect and affection for Bishop Mary. Once again having her here has been a delight and an encouragement to us all. Her graciousness is a wonderful gift to our partnership and companion relationship and I believe the partnership is a gift to our troubled Anglican Communion.

I am attaching a note I have written to try to explain some of the difficulties we have run into in England these last few days in relation to the ministry of visiting bishops. The difficulties have felt to be a long way away from the happy acceptance of one another here.


The note mentioned is copied here below the fold.

And for good measure, there is a picture at The Three-Legged Stool, see Comments from ECR and Gloucester on recent events.



Bishop of Rochester named

From 10 Downing Street:

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend James Henry Langstaff, MA, Suffragan Bishop of Lynn, for election as Bishop of Rochester in succession to the Right Reverend Michael James Nazir-Ali, BA, MLitt, PhD on his resignation on the 31st August 2009.

Read the government press release.

From the Diocese of Rochester, there is only a PDF file, available here.

The new Church of England Bishop of Rochester will be the Right Reverend James Langstaff, currently the Suffragan Bishop of Lynn in the Diocese of Norwich. In addition, he is now the Bishop designate of Rochester.

Bishop James (53) will become the 107th Bishop of Rochester later this year. He succeeds the Right Reverend Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, who retired in September 2009.

Following a media facility, Bishop James will spend the day touring the diocese to visit some of his future colleagues and parishioners. His day will begin at Bishop Justus school in the London borough of Bromley, which is part of the Diocese of Rochester. Here, he will be introduced to staff and pupils before moving on the meet members of his clergy at Chevening. After lunch and a further media facility, Bishop James will meet his staff at Bishopscourt and the Diocesan Office in Rochester. His day will conclude at Rochester Cathedral where he will meet Cathedral staff prior to joining future colleagues and members of the public for Evensong at Rochester Cathedral…

From the Diocese of Norwich: Bishop of Lynn to be next Bishop of Rochester


Women in the Episcopate – Archbishops' Amendment – press reports

Updated Monday night and Tuesday morning and afternoon

We reported earlier today on the proposal by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York for amendments to the women bishops’ legislation. Press reports and comment are now starting to appear.

Ruth Gledhill in The Times: Archbishops’ compromise deal on women bishops is rejected

Andrew Brown in his blog at The Guardian: Rowan Williams and the mitre maid. The Church of England definitely believes that women may be priests – and that they may not be. Hilarity ensues.

The BBC has Primates in last-ditch move to avert women bishops rift.


Episcopal Life Online: Canterbury, York to propose amendments to women bishops legislation

Forward in Faith UK: FiF reacts to Archbishops’ Statement

Forward in Faith warmly welcomes today’s Statement from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and now looks forward with great interest to seeing the precise texts of the amendments to the Draft Measure which they will propose to the General Synod next month.

Pluralist Speaks: Two for Tea

Damian Thompson in the Telegraph: The last-ditch plan to keep Anglo-Catholics happy will separate the Anglicans from the Catholics

Paul Handley in the Church Times: Archbishops take a hand in women-bishops debate

Reuters Archbishops baffle with women bishops proposal


General Synod – July 2010 – full agenda published

The General Synod of the Church of England will meet in York from 9 to 13 July 2010. The following press release was issued a short time ago.

See our item below for links to online Synod papers.

Full agenda published for July General Synod sessions at York University
21 June 2010

Key debates centre on women bishops’ legislation, while other subjects include clergy pensions, clergy terms of service, relations with the Church of Scotland, the status of deaneries and resources for Fresh Expressions in sessions of the Church of England’s ‘parliament,’ the General Synod, to be held in York from July 9th to 13th.

This is the last Synod before the five-yearly elections to and inauguration of the new Synod in November. More than half of the time available at these Sessions has been allocated to the key Revision Stage of the women bishops’ legislation.

Women Bishops

In February 2009, Synod agreed that draft legislation to allow women to be consecrated as bishops should be referred for revision in committee. The Revision Committee completed its work in April, and its report has been published.

The draft legislation continues to make provision for those who in conscience cannot receive the ministry of women as bishops, by providing for certain functions to be undertaken by a male bishop under a diocesan scheme made in accordance with a national code of practice.

After a ‘take note’ debate on the Revision Committee’s report, the Synod is scheduled to embark on the Revision Stage. This provides Synod with its last chance to amend the substance of the legislation before it is referred formally to dioceses, and then returns to Synod for Final Approval, probably in February 2012. Synod members need to submit their amendments for this Synod by June 30.

Other legislative business includes two pieces of legislation as part of the preparations for the introduction of ‘common tenure’ for clergy in 2011, including provision for maternity, paternity, parental and adoption leave and time off work to care for dependents for those holding office under the common tenure arrangements.

Clergy Pensions

Synod agreed in February to make certain changes to the clergy pensions scheme, including increasing the pension age for future service and increasing the accrual period for future service. This was subject to statutory consultation with scheme members.

Separately, the Synod carried a Private Member’s Motion from the Reverend Mark Bratton which asked for changes to the clergy pensions rules to remove the remaining differences between pension benefits for surviving civil partners and surviving spouses.

At this Synod, the Archbishops’ Council is reporting back on the consultation exercise and making recommendations about changes to the clergy pensions scheme. Synod will then be asked to formally approve the resulting amendments to the scheme rules.

Relations with the Church of Scotland

The report Our Fellowship in the Gospel is the fruit of informal conversations between the two churches. It sets out ways in which the Church of England and the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland can consult and co-operate as established churches. The Church of Scotland welcomed the report and its recommendations at its recent General Assembly and it now comes before the General Synod for endorsement.

Diocesan Synod Motion – Deaneries

The motion from the Coventry Diocesan Synod asks that the case for conferring incorporated status on deanery synods should be considered by the Archbishops’ Council. The motion also asks that deanery synods should be specifically enabled to promote the deanery in the Church’s mission.

Private Member’s Motion – Fresh Expressions

Synod received a presentation on Fresh Expression from Bishop Graham Cray in February. Richard Moy’s Private Member’s Motion asks the Fresh Expressions team, in consultation with the Liturgical Commission, to produce an on-line library of visual and video resources for worship.

Synod’s other business

Synod will receive a Presidential Address from the Archbishop of York. There will also be a special address from one of the ecumenical guests – the Archbishop of Estonia, The Most Rev Andres Poder.

There will be the one item of liturgical business: the Further Revision Stage and Final Approval of the Additional Weekday Lectionary and Amendments to the Calendar, Lectionary and Collects.

Synod will be asked to agree the setting up of the new Faith and Order Commission, in succession to three bodies: the Doctrine Commission, the Faith and Order Advisory Group and the House of Bishops’ Theological Group. This represents a streamlining and concentration of the Church of England’s theological resources at national level.

Following the Synod’s rejection in July 2009 of the Archbishops’ Council’s proposals for overhauling its committee structure, Synod will debate the Council’s revised proposals, produced after consultation with the bodies concerned, which essentially entail a reduction in the size of the bodies.

Synod will receive presentations of the Annual Reports of the Archbishops’ Council, and the Church Commissioners.

There will also be a closing Eucharist, at which the Archbishop of Canterbury will preach, as well as the customary Sunday morning Eucharist in York Minster, at which the Archbishop of York will preach.

As this is the last Synod of the quinquennium, there will be a number of farewells.

Communicating Synod

Parishioners can keep in touch with the General Synod while it meets. Background papers and other information will be posted on the Church of England website ahead of the General Synod sessions. A live feed will be available courtesy of Premier Radio, and audio files of debates, along with updates on the days’ proceedings, will be posted during the sessions.


Women in the Episcopate – Archbishops' Amendment

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have jointly issued the statement below, outlining amendments that they will propose to the draft legislation to enable women to become bishops in the Church of England.

General Synod Draft Legislation: Women in the Episcopate

Monday 21 June 2010

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have signalled their intention to propose jointly in due course an amendment to the draft legislation to enable women to become bishops in the Church of England due to be debated at General Synod in July. This note explains their reasoning.



1. We owe a great debt of gratitude to the Revision Committee for their dedicated and painstaking work. We wish, however – after much consideration, and after discussion in the House of Bishops – to offer legislative amendments to the Draft Measure which we believe might provide a way forward for the Church of England. We want as many people as possible to feel that there is good news for them in this process, and we hope that what we are suggesting may help secure the broadest degree of support for the legislation without further delaying the process of scrutiny and decision.

2. Successive General Synod debates have produced clear majorities in favour of admitting women to the episcopate in the Church of England. At the same time, a number of motions have also shown a widespread desire to proceed in a way that will maintain the highest possible degree of communion within the Church of England between those who differ on the substantive point, reflecting the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution that ‘those who dissent from as well as those who assent to the ordination of women to the Priesthood and episcopate are both loyal Anglicans’.

3 The issue that has proved most difficult to resolve in securing these two objectives has been that of ‘jurisdiction’. Once women become bishops, it will be possible to maintain something like the present ‘mixed economy’ in the Church of England only if there is provision for someone other than the diocesan bishop to provide episcopal oversight for those who are unable to accept the new situation. The need for such provision is widely accepted. But what is still much debated is what should be the basis in law for the authority exercised by a bishop in this kind of ministry.

4. The various approaches so far explored have all taken for granted that there is a simple choice between either deriving this authority from the diocesan by way of delegation or removing some part of the diocesan’s jurisdiction so as to confer it on a bishop who then exercises authority (‘ordinary jurisdiction’) in his own right.

5. The amendments we intend to propose involve neither delegation nor depriving a diocesan of any part of his or her jurisdiction. Instead we seek to give effect to the idea of a ‘co-ordinate’ jurisdiction.

6. What this would mean is that:

the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop – whether male or female – remains intact; he or she would remain the bishop of the whole area of the diocese and would be legally entitled to exercise any episcopal function in any parish of the diocese;

  • where a parish had requested arrangements, by issuing a Letter of Request, the diocesan would in practice refrain from exercising certain of his or her functions in such a parishand would leave the nominated bishop to exercise those functions in the parish in question;
  • the legal authority of the nominated bishop to minister in this way would derive from the Measure itself – and would not, therefore, be conferred by way of delegation; but the identity of such a bishop and the scope of his functions would be defined by the scheme made by the diocesan for his or her diocese, in the light of the provisions contained in the national statutory Code of Practice drawn up by the House of Bishops and agreed by General Synod;
  • thus both the diocesan and the nominated bishop would possess ‘ordinary jurisdiction’; the diocesan would retain the complete jurisdiction of a diocesan in law, and the nominated bishop would have jurisdiction by virtue of the Measure to the extent provided for in the diocesan scheme – in effect holding jurisdiction by the decision of the Church as a whole, as expressed in the Measure;
  • in respect of the aspects of episcopal ministry for which the diocesan scheme made provision, the diocesan and the nominated bishop would be ‘co-ordinaries’, and to that extent, their jurisdiction could be described as co-ordinate – that is to say, each would have an ordinary jurisdiction in relation to those matters; and
  • the Code of Practice would contain guidelines for effective co-ordination of episcopal functions so as to avoid duplication or conflict in the exercise of episcopal ministry.

7. The amendments needed to achieve all this will be brief and will not involve a radical rewriting of the draft legislation. They are likely to be confined to Clauses 2 and 5 of the Draft Measure and are consistent with its overall structure. They would not require a further Revision Committee stage.

8. Thus if they were passed – and subject to decisions reached by General Synod on amendments tabled by other members – the way would still be clear to refer the legislation to diocesan synods if the Revision Stage is successfully completed in July. As the recent statement from the House of Bishops makes clear, the Archbishops and most of the House are persuaded that delay would not be wise or helpful.

9. Since the amendments would not divest the diocesan bishop of any jurisdiction, they would involve no change in the Church of England’s understanding of the episcopate. But for those seeking ministry under this provision from a nominated male bishop, there would no longer be the difficulty that this authority was derived in law from an act of delegation by an individual diocesan.

10. An arrangement whereby two people have jurisdiction in relation to the same subject matter would not be unique. For example, the High Court and the Charity Commission each has jurisdiction to make schemes for the reorganisation of charities. Many courts and other bodies have overlapping jurisdictions.

11. Such situations are often described as ‘concurrent’ jurisdiction – though this should not be understood in the sense of two different courts acting at the same time in relation to the same things, simply as meaning two authorities possessing jurisdictions that exist side by side. We prefer the term ‘co-ordinate’ as less likely to give rise to confusion.

12. Where there are cases of concurrent jurisdiction in the law, procedural rules and rules of practice have had to be developed to avoid two authorities acting at the same time on the same matters. Similarly, our amendments will require the Code of Practice to give guidance on arrangements for co-ordinating the exercise of ministry as between the diocesan bishop and the nominated bishop under the diocesan scheme. The diocesan retains the freedom to amend the diocesan scheme from time to time after consultation with the diocesan synod.

13. Since 1994, the Church of England has managed to operate a practical polity that reflects continuing differences over the question of the priestly ministry of women. This has been possible not only because of the framework created by General Synod through the 1993 Measure and the Act of Synod but also because a great many people on all sides have wanted to make it work.

14. We are convinced that the small but significant changes we are proposing will make it easier for the statutory framework and Code of Practice emerging from the legislative process to create a climate in which mutual trust and common flourishing across the Church of England can be nourished, in a situation where for the first time, all orders of ordained ministry are open to women and men alike.

15. We believe that the amendments secure two crucial things:

1. that women ordained to the episcopate will enjoy exactly the same legal rights as men within the structures of the Church of England and that there will be no derogation of the rights of any diocesan bishop, male or female; and
2. that those who request oversight from a nominated bishop under a diocesan scheme will be able to recognise in them an episcopal authority received from the whole Church rather than through delegation or transfer from an individual diocesan.

16. It will be for General Synod to reach a view on these proposals, as on each of the many amendments offered by Synod members. We commend our suggestions to you for prayer and reflection, in the hope that we may emerge from the July Group of Sessions with a sense that the full diversity of voices in the Church of England has been duly heard and attended to.

+Rowan Cantuar: +Sentamu Ebor:

20 June 2010


General Synod – July 2010 – online papers

Many papers for next month’s meeting of General Synod are now online. The list below will be updated as the remainder become available. Papers are also listed when they are known to exist but are not yet online.

Updated 21, 22, 28 June


GS 1777 Full Agenda
Outline agenda

Papers for debate

GS 1708-09Y Revision Committee Report Women in the Episcopate
GS 1708A draft Women in the Episcopate Measure
GS 1709A Amending Canon No. 30
GS 1708 AX Explanatory Memorandum

GS 1724Z Additional Weekday Lectionary and Amendments to Calendar, Lectionary and Collects – further report of the Revision Committee
[which refers to GS 1724A Additional Weekday Lectionary and Amendments to Calendar, Lectionary and Collects (a paper from February 2010)]

GS 1778 Business Committee Report

GS 1779 Term of office of elected members of the Archbishops’ Council

GS 1780 Clergy Pensions: Report from the Archbishops’ Council

GS 1781 Archbishops’ Council 2011 Budget

GS 1782 Faith and Order Commission of the General Synod of the Church of England

GS 1783 Draft Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) (Amendment) Regulations 2010
GS 1783X Explanatory Memorandum
GS 1784 Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Directions 2010
GS 1784X Explanatory Memorandum

GS 1785 The Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme (Cessation of Contracting Out etc) (Amendment) Rules 2010
GS 1786 The Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme (Retirement Age etc) (Amendment) Rules 2010
GS 1787 The Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme (Accrual Rate) (Amendment) Rules 2010
GS 1788 The Church of England Pensions (Health and Disability) (Amendment) Rules 2010
GS 1789 The Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme (Civil Partners’ Benefits) (Amendment) Rules 2010
GS 1790 The Church of England Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Rules 2010
GS 1791 The Church of England Pensions (Amendment) Regulations 2010
GS 1785-91X Explanatory Memorandum

GS 1792 Our Fellowship in the Gospel

GS 1793 Review of Constitutions: Report from the Archbishops’ Council

GS 1794 Archbishops’ Council: Annual Report

GS 1796 Legal Officers (Annual Fees) Order 2010
GS 1797 Ecclesiastical Judges, Legal Officers and Others (Fees)
GS 1796-97X Explanatory Memorandum

GS 1798 Parochial Fees
GS 1798X Explanatory Memorandum

Diocesan Synod Motions

GS 1773A and GS 1773B (Coventry) Deanery Synods
GS 1799A and GS 1799B (Bath and Wells) Clergy Job Sharing
GS 1800A and GS 1800B (Ripon and Leeds)

Private Member’s Motion

GS 1795A and GS 1795B Fresh Expressions

There are several miscellaneous papers issued to synod members, and these are listed here below the fold.



Southwark episode rumbles on

Some more items in the “mitregate” saga.

Maggi Dawn (whose earlier post Mitregate: the latest church row was linked previously on TA has written two further articles: first, Mitregate (2): “should I go or should I stay, now?”

…My own mailbox this week has had a stream of comments from women who have just been, or are about to be, ordained as priests or deacons. They are disappointed and dismayed as everyone else who sees this whole charade as a massive PR blunder. But there is a personal element too. It swings straight back at them: with one hand the Church has welcomed their giving up of their time, their careers and their economic security in order to serve, while with the other hand, in the very month that they take their orders, it has smacked them down again. You can serve, the Church seems to say, but never dare to forget you are second class citizens.

At one level this whole affair has been a lot of nonsense – as the Presiding Bishop herself said, “It is bizarre; it is beyond bizarre“. But I don’t mind admitting that the onslaught of mockery from those outside the church and disappointment from inside has had me seriously considering hanging up my own cassock.

And also, Mitregate 3:

I feel sure that the Mitregate story will blow over sometime in the next 24 hours. It’s just a small incident, of course – it’s just a hat, it’s just one misunderstanding, it’s not what we are really all about, and it really deserves a good lampooning of the kind Spitting Image used to do so well. For the true picture, you could do no better than to hear or read the marvellous sermon KJS preached at Southwark last weekend. What I regret about this story, though, is that it’s one of a long series of events that make the Church appear out of touch and absorbed in petty details that don’t matter that much.

Many have asked, “What was Lambeth thinking?”. I may be wrong, but my guess is that it was the timing of her visit – so close to our imminent Synod debate on women bishops in England – that made those in Lambeth anxious not to be seen to be forcing the issue. Perhaps this isn’t surprising given that the history of England* has always inclined towards change by degree. We didn’t make the long journey from feudalism to democracy without a war or two, but once France had her revolution we followed with two centuries of political reform, one tiny step at a time. Whether the anxiety for less bloodshed left us with more frustration is hard to say, but it seems that culturally we carved a path we still follow: change comes slowly, with every miniscule step analysed and considered. The seventeenth century proverb (later adapted by Longfellow) could have been written for the Church of England: “God’s mill grinds slow, but sure.”

Kelvin Holdsworth has provided a Scottish perspective in his article Mitregate:

…The short version is that the Presiding Bishop of the US based Episcopal Church was inhibited from wearing a mitre or carrying a pastoral staff whilst visiting Southwark Cathedral last Sunday. I suspect this is because the Church of Englandshire does not recognise that women can become bishops yet and so inhibit women who have been made bishops from acting as bishop or appearing as bishops when in England. It is a kind of small-mindedness that we don’t indulge in up here. Either Bishop Katharine is a bishop or she isn’t. If she is, she gets treated with respect as a bishop or she isn’t and we don’t have to bother about her at all. (It was the same years ago for Bishop Penny from New Zealand who was able to act as a bishop in Scotland even before we had made any decision about women and the Episcopatate but she could not do so in England).

I remember that +Gene Robinson was banned from wearing Episcopal regalia when in England two years ago for similar reasons. However, I could not remember whether he had worn one a titfer liturgically when he came here. It made me look back at the video of that service and I found that he did indeed wear a mitre. Seems to me that making headgear the cause of controversy is displacement activity.

Presumably the no-mitre on +Katharine rule was instigated in order to appease a certain kind of Evangelical lobby group. (Which again, I don’t think we really have up here either, thank God). Oh how sweet the irony that they become the first bible-believing fundamentalists to insist that a woman not wear a hat in public worship…

And it appears that Kenneth Kearon made a comment about this last week in Maryland.

But this Canadian church website has a video which everyone should watch. (h/t SueM)


women bishops: press leaks

Jonathan Petre in the Mail on Sunday reports that Archbishops risk ‘bloodbath’ over women priests by letting opponents of reform remain in the clergy.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are to make a dramatic intervention in the long-running row over women bishops this week by demanding that opponents of female clergy are not driven out of the Church.

Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu are so concerned thousands of traditionalist churchgoers will quit when women become bishops that they are to risk the wrath of liberals by calling for major reforms in Church legislation.

Sources said their statement will spell out a legal formula that will give traditionalist clergy and parishes the right to reject the authority of a woman bishop…


Pentecost letters – further analysis

The Advisory Committee of Communion Partners has issued A Response to the Pentecost Pastoral Letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

(To discover who exactly the signatories are, scroll to the bottom.)

I failed to link earlier to the statement from the Chicago Consultation which doesn’t seem to have made it yet to the consultation’s own website. So I have copied it here below the fold.

Another statement comes from The Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission. That one is here: look for The Convent Station Statement on the changing ethos of the Anglican Communion Sunday, June 13, 2010

Andrew Goddard has written at Fulcrum: Reflections on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Pentecost Letter: A pathway for Anglican spiritual renewal?



Marriage after divorce and the ordained ministry

We linked earlier to a report in the Sunday Telegraph: Divorced bishops to be permitted for first time by Church of England, and a report from the Press Association that the House of Bishops was preparing a a statement setting out its approach to these issues.

This report has now been issued: GS Misc 960 – Marriage after divorce and the ordained ministry – A statement from the House of Bishops. We have put a webpage version here.

The statement outlines current practice when considering the ordination as deacon or priest of someone who has divorced and married again and has a former spouse still living, or who is married to a someone who is divorced and who has a former spouse still living. It then says that the House of Bishops have agreed to adopt what is basically the same procedures for potential diocesan or suffragan bishops.

Also available are two background papers, prepared for the House of Bishops, on the legal and theological issues.

Divorce and Episcopal and Appointments: the Legal Position prepared by The Rt Worshipful Charles George QC (Dean of the Arches and Auditor), Sir Anthony Hammond KCB QC (Standing Counsel), Stephen Slack (Chief Legal Adviser) and The Reverend Alexander McGregor (Deputy Legal Adviser) (webpage version)
Note on Divorce as a Disqualification for the Episcopate by Professor Oliver O’Donovan (webpage version)



Karen Burke writes in The Guardian about the Church and media conference 2010. Is religion sidelined by the media? Broadcasters, church folk and humanists gathered last week to thrash things out.

Patrick Strudwick writes in The Guardian about Selective gay rights from the coalition. Allowing civil partnerships in places of worship, and a few other measures, can’t make up for a dubious record on gay rights.

The Archbishop of Canterbury preached at a special evensong service at St Paul’s Cathedral in celebration of the Royal Society’s 350th anniversary. A video and transcript of the sermon are available on the Archbishop’s website.

Giles Fraser argues in the Church Times that Enlightened thinking still raises queries.

Mark Speeks writes in The Tablet about Perils of the deep: Pensions and the BP catastrophe.

Jonathan Sacks writes in The Times about Searching the faces of those who bring light to others.

This week’s The Question at The Guardian’s Comment is free belief is Do prisons need religion? Can the moral and material structure that religion provides improve prison life?
Here are the responses.
Monday: Erwin James A civilising influence in prisons. If religion can provide a measure of peace in a troubled environment or a troubled heart then it has to be a good thing.
Wednesday: Francis Davis Religion can make life inside bearable. As a support system – and even, yes, as a way to make life more comfortable – religion is an essential part of prison life.
Thursday: Danny Afzal A Muslim prisoner’s story. When I first went to jail, I gave up God for sausages and bacon butties. But in the end, it was religion that helped me survive.
Friday: Naomi Phillips Faith is not the answer. Religion should be accommodated as far as is reasonable. But prison must remain a secular space.


ACNA adjusts its numbers

From a press release by the Anglican Church in North America:

The Anglican Church in North America has 614 congregations in 20 dioceses. More than 200 other congregations are ministry partners with the Anglican Church, including the congregations of The Anglican Mission. The Anglican Church represents more than 100,000 Christians in North America.

Previous reports here, here, and here.

This short PDF file explains where these congregations came from.


Kearon visits TEC Executive Council

ENS reports: Secretary general says Episcopal Church should have expected consequences for Glasspool consecration

The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, told the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council June 18 that when Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop Suffragan Mary Glasspool was ordained as the church’s second openly gay, partnered bishop, the church ought to have known that it would face sanctions.

However, he said that in the recent removal of Episcopal Church members from some Anglican Communion ecumenical dialogues “the aim has not been to get at the Episcopal Church, but to find room for others to remain as well as enabling as full a participation as possible for the Episcopal Church within the communion.”

Kearon claimed that the communion’s ecumenical dialogues “are at the point of collapse” and said that the last meeting of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion, of which Jefferts Schori is an elected member, “was probably the worst meeting I have experienced.”

“The viability of our meetings are at stake,” he added…

For earlier reports of the meeting, see Executive Council quizzes Secretary General.

In a formal statement issued after the meeting, available from ENS here, the Council said this about the encounter with Kearon:

The 45-minute session on Friday with invited guest Canon Kenneth Kearon was carefully prepared for by the Standing Committee on World Mission, who wrote the thoughtful and substantive questions that made clear our commitment to being an inclusive church while also deeply committed to classic Anglicanism and deepening our relationship with our sisters and brothers across the Communion.

Canon Kearon began by describing the beginning of the current tensions as the increasing “problem of growth and diversity in the Anglican Communion.” This statement was significant to a body that has long seen diversity in the Body of Christ as an opportunity and has sought to base its actions on the baptismal promise that we will seek and serve Christ in all people and respect the dignity of every human being.

The questions sought clarification on the presenting issues, including the Archbishop of Canterbury’s removal of appointees from The Episcopal Church to ecumenical bodies and Canon Kearon’s statement that The Episcopal Church does not “share the faith and order of the vast majority of the Anglican Communion.” He also responded to concerns about incursions by other provinces of the Communion. He acknowledged that the Archbishop of Canterbury considers certain activities of the Province of the Southern Cone to constitute an incursion, but is awaiting clarification about the extent of these activities from the primate of that province. However, such ongoing breaches of the moratorium on incursions do not rise to the same level of departure from the faith and order of the Communion as does the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Christians.

The Council very much appreciated the chance to meet with Canon Kearon, who agreed to respond in writing to additional questions from members of the Council.

The Living Church also has a report, see Kenneth Kearon Defends Archbishop’s Decisions.


more sanctions from Lambeth?

Updated Friday evening

The Church Times reports on last Sunday’s service at Southwark Cathedral, in a sidebar to the story headlined Bishops criticise USPG cuts.

Doffed: the Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, was asked by Lam­beth Palace not to wear her mitre when she visited Southwark Cath­edral last Sunday. As a consequence, she carried it under her arm. In her sermon, she spoke of the fear of strangers: “There’s something in our ancient genetic memory that ratchets up our state of arousal when we meet a stranger — it’s a survival mech­anism that has kept our species alive for millennia by being wary about strangers. But there’s also a piece of our make-up that we talk about in more theo­logical terms — the part that leaps to judgement about that person’s sins. It’s con­nected to knowing our own sinful­ness, and our tendency toward competition.” She urged the con­gregation to lose the “defensive veneer that wants to shut out other sinners”.

In a letter to The Times, a group of 15 clerics in the Southwark diocese, mostly con­servative Evangelicals, criticised the invitation: “We seriously question the judgement of those who have not withdrawn their invitation to her after her recent consecration of Mary Glasspool,” a partnered lesbian. She also spoke at the Scot­tish Synod, where she talked of her Church’s “radical hospitality”. At the USPG annual meeting, she was upbraided by the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba: the support for same-sex partnerships had com­municated “a measure of uncaring at the con­sequent difficulties for us”

In a related story, the Church of England Newspaper has this report by George Conger Bishop Jefferts Schori rebuffs Dr. Williams’ call for restraint. It includes this:

The June 2 public letter follows upon private communications between Bishop Jefferts Schori and Dr. Rowan Williams about her continuing role in the councils of the Anglican Communion.

The press officer to the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council has confirmed to The Church of England Newspaper that Canon Kenneth Kearon hand delivered a letter from Dr. Williams to Bishop Jefferts Schori at the April 17 consecration ceremony of Bishop Ian Douglas of Connecticut.

The chancellor to the Presiding Bishop, David Booth Beers, told bishops attending the May 24 to 28 Living Our Vows bishops’ training programme at the Lake Logan Episcopal Center in North Carolina that in this letter Dr. Williams had asked the Presiding Bishop to consider absenting herself from meetings of the Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee and the Primates Meeting in light of the Episcopal Church’s violation of the moratoria on gay bishops and blessings, those present tell CEN.

Speaking to a group of bishops during an informal after dinner session, Mr. Beers stated the Presiding Bishop had rejected the Archbishop of Canterbury’s suggestion, observing that he had no authority to remove her from the Primates Standing Committee as she had been elected by the North and South American primates. She also objected to Dr. Williams’ claim to have the authority to ban her from the councils of the church.

One of the bishops at the evening encounter told CEN that speculation on the future structures of the Communion was also shared by Mr. Beers with the bishops. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s press office did not respond to requests for clarification on Mr. Beers’ comments, while a spokesman for the Presiding Bishop declined to comment on “speculation and conjecture.”

Other reports:

Diana Butler Bass at Beliefnet Mitregate: The Anglican Crisis Over Women’s Hats

Maggi Dawn Mitregate: the latest church row

Friday evening update

According to the American Anglican Council in an article headlined Jefferts Schori: “We were not asked to withdraw” the following exchanges took place at the press conference following the Executive Council meeting in Maryland today:

Robert Lundy, American Anglican Council: Presiding Bishop, my question is in regards to the election of a new representative for The Episcopal Church to the Anglican Consultative Council. Was that new representative Bishop Ian Douglas and if so, will you and Bishop Ian Douglas be attending the next Standing Committee meeting of the ACC?

Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori: We expect those elections to happen this afternoon and yes I expect the representatives of The Episcopal Church to be present at that meeting.

President Anderson: We’re looking forward to the election. We have two candidates in both positions that are open. . .

David Virtue, Virtue Online: My question is for the Presiding Bishop. In light of events recently concerning the Archbishop’s Pentecost letter and the TEC being asked to withdraw several ecumenical leaders from the ACC, will the Presiding Bishop and Executive Council consider cutting the 40% budget of the ACC? Has that been discussed?

Jefferts Schori: Your first observation is not accurate. Members of Ecumenical dialogues were removed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. We were not asked to withdraw. We were not asked to withdraw from the Anglican Consultative Council. There has been no discussion here of reducing our offering to the Anglican Communion Office.

Mary Francis Schjonberg, Episcopal Life: At the beginning of this presentation this morning, what was your general sense that the way he (Kenneth Kearon) sees things may not be the way The Episcopal Church sees things. At the end of the session, do you think there was any greater understanding on his part or on the Council’s part about the situation in the Communion?

Anderson: I’d like to say in response to that one of the comments that Secretary Kearon made in his opening remarks struck me particularly where he mentioned that some of the issues that they have identified in the Anglican Communion and one of them, a presenting issue, is diversity. In the first place, I don’t think that The Episcopal Church sees diversity as an issue in the same way in which Secretary Kearon presented it of being seen from his viewpoint. I did not see any change in that by the time we had finished talking. I didn’t see any concrete evidence that there was a particular newly developed line of understanding becoming perhaps both ways.

Jefferts Schori: I think we look forward to the possibility of…upon further reflection that all participants in the conversation this morning they have had their understanding increased.

And two more #mitregate articles

RNS Daniel Burke It’s hats-off to female bishop, and not in a good way

Ruth Gledhill Mitregate: The Sequel


Scottish Episcopal Church General Synod

In addition to the Thursday, Friday and Saturday reports of last week’s synod the following videos are now online.

These videos were brought to my attention by Inspires Online, the Scottish Episcopal Church’s online newsletter; you can subscribe here.


more from Southwark Cathedral

Updated yet further Thursday afternoon

An audio recording of the Presiding Bishop’s sermon is now available on the cathedral website, along with the text.
Go to this page

Also, in the afternoon, the Dean of Southwark made comments about the morning event in his sermon, text here.

This morning there is some comment about the event in the Diary column of the Guardian. Read that over here.


ENS reports from the TEC Executive Council meeting now proceeding in Maryland, that Lambeth Palace tells presiding bishop not to wear symbol of office.

In the week before her visit, the presiding bishop said, Lambeth pressured her office to provide evidence of her ordination to each order of ministry.

“This is apparently a requirement of one of their canons about the ministry of clergy from overseas,” she said.

The presiding bishop said both the ordination and mitre issues put the Very Rev. Colin Slee, Southwark’s dean, “in a very awkward position.”

She called the requirements “nonsense” and said, “It is bizarre; it is beyond bizarre.”

A commenter on another thread has linked to a picture showing the Presiding Bishop carrying her mitre.

The full text of the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967 can be found here, and further context can be found at this TA article from February 2005 (scroll down to Question 56 and follow the links).

A comment from the thread below has been republished in this article at Episcopal Café:

jdd commenting on the story that the Archbishop of Canterbury gave the Presiding Bishop permission to preach and preside at Southwark Cathedral on the condition that she not cover her hair…

As to precedents:

Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold wore a mitre at Southwark Cathedral in 2006, see Griswold wore mitre at Southwark.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori wore a mitre when she preached at Salisbury Cathedral in 2008, see Salisbury diocese welcomes Presiding Bishop, Sudanese bishops for pre-Lambeth hospitality initiative. See this picture.

Ruth Gledhill has written about this on her blog, see Bishop crossed in mitre row. Another picture there too.

The story in The Times is headlined Female US bishop forced to carry mitre in ‘snub’ by Lambeth Palace, but that is behind a paywall.


cross-border interventions

Updated again Wednesday evening

I published a couple of cross-border intervention footnotes recently to other articles, see here, and also here. That was after the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Kenneth Kearon wrote a letter in which he indicated some doubts in this area.

Today, Episcopal Café joins the campaign for better information on this topic.

Has the Church of Nigeria formally engaged in boundary crossing? The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council do not know.

On their respective websites the Church of Nigeria and CANA openly confess that the Church of Nigeria is formally in violation of the boundary crossing moratorium…

See It’s formal: CANA is a diocese of the Church of Nigeria.

Referring to the recent Virginia court decision involving CANA/Anglican District of Virginia:

…The Virginia Supreme Court Decision said the ADV congregations lost the case because, as ADV claimed (and as you can see, still claim), they were a branch of the Church of Nigeria.

This information is offered to assist the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary General in their inquiries into whether the Province of the Church of Nigeria has engaged in and continues to engage in crossing boundaries of another province of the Communion in violation of the moratorium against such intervention.

And there is this further document dated May 2010 from the ACNA website [PDF] that lists all the cross-border interventions and notes that:

During this period of transition, bishops within ACNA will retain membership in the House of Bishops of the province in which they were members prior to the formation of ACNA.

H/T to the Café and to Albany Via Media.

Update Wednesday evening

ENS reports that Communion secretary general due to attend Executive Council meeting

The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, is to speak to the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council here on June 18.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told the council at its opening plenary session that Kearon would engage with the council in a question-and-answer session at 9 a.m. on the last day of the council’s June 16-18 meeting at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute.

His presence at the meeting will come 11 days after he announced that he had sent letters to five Episcopal Church members of the inter-Anglican ecumenical dialogues with the Lutheran, Methodist, Old Catholic and Orthodox churches “informing them that their membership on these dialogues has been discontinued.” Kearon also said on June 7 that he had written to the Episcopal Church member of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order (IASCUFO), withdrawing her membership and inviting her to serve as a consultant to that body…


Moving forward on women bishops

WATCH has issued the following statement.


WATCH supports the draft legislation proposed by the Revision Committee as a framework for moving forward without further delay. But this represents a significant compromise.

The ideal
WATCH has always campaigned for the simplest possible legislation for women bishops, that is, a Single Clause Measure. This is the only way of having women bishops without discrimination. A Single Clause Measure would have brought women in the Church of England under the protection of the Equality Act. It would also have put us in step with all other Anglican Provinces that have consecrated women as bishops. Most importantly it would have signaled that the Church now values women as much as men. What is being proposed falls short of this ideal.

The current proposals
The draft legislation provides for the consecration of women as bishops with special arrangements for those with conscientious difficulties by way of delegation from the diocesan bishop under a statutory Code of Practice. This is the approach that Synod approved after lengthy debate in July 2008.

Under the proposals, each diocesan bishop would be required to draw up a Scheme in her or his diocese that takes account of a national Code of Practice and provides local arrangements for the performance of certain Episcopal functions in relation to parishes with conscientious difficulties.

In addition such parishes would be able to request, when there is a vacancy, that only a male incumbent or priest-in-charge be appointed.

A compromise for WATCH
It is a significant compromise for WATCH to consider supporting anything short of a Single Clause Measure. However, the Revision Committee has listened to all viewpoints and investigated the practical possibilities with great care. Their lengthy report is a testament to the enormous patience and generosity of their process.

The Revision Committee’s proposals

  • Allow for the consecration of women as bishops
  • Maintain the integrity of the church and the episcopate
  • Make provision for those who are opposed to women becoming bishops

There seems to be a consensus emerging across the moderate mainstream that this is a good basis for moving forward.

All these factors lead us to believe that WATCH should support the proposals at Synod. However, this is a compromise so that we can move ahead with women bishops NOW and be as inclusive as we can without compromising the integrity of the episcopate or of women.



WATCH responds to Tom Wright

Statement from WATCH (Women and the Church) in response to the Bishop of Durham’s recent comments appealing for further delay in consecrating women as bishops

The Bishop of Durham has suggested to his Diocesan Synod (21 May 2010 at that the Church of England should delay moving forward with the proposed legislation to allow women to be bishops and engage in further theological debate.

WATCH welcomes the Bishop of Durham’s clear support for the ordination of women, but takes issue with his call for delay. As Bishop Tom himself said in his address, the move to the ordination of women ‘has been debated and decided by the whole church meeting in solemn conclave’. Bishop Tom has himself long argued that ordaining women is right according to the Bible.


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